There is a new buzz around Louisville Basketball. A big win over Cincinnati, in a highly contested game on the road, in the most hostile venue seen by the Cardinals this year has created it. March is upon us and up until the Russ Smith go-ahead basket with 2.2 seconds remaining, a lot of people were somewhat down on Louisville to be a serious contender in the NCAA tournament. I seem to recall hearing a lot of people say they could “at best” be a Sweet 16 team. Can one game sway the inclination? Well, obviously it can. What is curious is that there has been apathy by many to where the Cards are now compared to where they were at the same point last season. Let’ take a quick look.

The 2012-13 University of Louisville National Championship team had posted an overall record of 22-5 by February 25th, 2013. They were 2-3 versus ranked teams with wins over Missouri and Marquette and losses to Duke, Syracuse, and Notre Dame.

The Current 2013-14 University of Louisville basketball team as of February 25th, 2014 has posted an overall record of 23-4. They are 1-4 versus ranked teams with a recent win over Cincinnati, and losses to North Carolina, Kentucky, Memphis State, and Cincinnati.

The current squad has really beaten up on the teams that they were expected to beat up on. With the exception of the losses to the ranked teams early, there have been no close calls to inferior opponents. In doing so, Louisville has an eerily similar overall record to last season’s champions. That team really came on during this part of the year and it appears this team is trending that direction too. Folks were sleeping on Louisville last year as a serious threat in postseason play until late, and if Louisville manages to win out, it’s the same mistake this year.

Here’s the reason for the buzz, Louisville has a handful of games remaining. First up is Temple at home, then #21 Memphis State away, #23 SMU away, and UCONN(currently #26, but could be ranked by gameday Mar 8th) at the Yum. If Louisville wins the last 4 games & 3 of them against ranked opponents they are staring at a #2 seed in the NCAA tournament. If Louisville goes into the AAC tournament and manages to win out there, people can begin the 1 seed arguments. (Obviously, some other things would need to happen outside of Louisville’s control)

We don’t know exactly how the season will wrap up, but we know how it began and how it is currently trending. Louisville fans are seeing some things that parallel last season and there is a warranted buzz. The Cardinals are perfectly positioned for another deep run in postseason play, but they’ve got to remain focused and take care of business. Oh, by the way, another National Championship would give Rick Pitino exactly 703 wins.
Can you feel the buzz?

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Drew is a lifelong Louisville fan and a career Military Aviator.

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